Someone I know – a liberal, no less – posted this article on
their Facebook page and praised its main point. I'm thinking she didn't actually read it, because the main premise is "America – Love It or Leave It," or "sieg heil, y'all." Basically, the main premise is that he thinks all Americans should act the same. He makes that especially clear in the last few paragraphs. Seriously, it made me want to
Now, before I rip this guy a new one, I want to say I love
police officers and I appreciate what they do for us. I never say anything bad about police, unless
they do something specifically horrendous. This is not a criticism of this guy
as a law enforcement officer; this is a critique of his opinion on this one
subject. I’m going to assume that he’s a lovely man with a good family who
loves his family. He’s just wrong on this; incredibly wrong.
The entire article can be seen HERE.
Here is how he starts out:
Come in Flavors?
By Jim Donahue
Ice cream has
lots of them: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, butter pecan, black cherry, rocky
road and lots more. No matter what the flavor, ice cream will always be ice
cream. It’s grand on a hot summer day.
In recent years, the politically-correct crowd wants us to
believe that America comes in flavors, too. We now hear phrases like:
African-American, Mexican-American, Italian-American, and I guess for me, it
would be Irish-American. But, I’m here to tell you: America does NOT come in flavors. There is only one
flavor – just like strawberries.
about history. If you don’t know your history, you are destined to repeat its
mistakes. Take that to the bank. We are all immigrants of this great country.
Some families have been here longer than others, but every one of us has family
roots in another part of the globe. I moved to Florida more than three years
ago. It seems that almost everyone in Florida is from somewhere else. A most common
question amongst the permanent residents: ‘Where are you from?’ Finding someone
who was actually born in Florida is a unique and refreshing experience. That’s
just the way it is here.
Let’s stop here for a minute. The above is complete crap. This guy doesn’t
know history; he sure as hell shouldn’t be lecturing us on history. And WTF is he even talking about? All ice cream is ice cream, so even though we're all different, we should all act the same? Again I ask; WTF??
But let's give this guy a quick history lesson. We'll start with an average evening on the town.
You and your friends go to a little cafe, or maybe an
espresso bar, for an overpriced latte or a cappuccino, or even just plain full strength Colombian blend coffee. You and
your friends sit on the Chinese made chairs and the Indonesian built table in the main room, and have a little tete-a-tete about the realpolitik of the day as you
stuff envelopes for your favorite cause celebre. Perhaps it’s cystic fibrosis, or La
Leche League. After an hour or so, you’re all feeling a little famished, so you
check the a la carte menu. It's a nice day to dine al fresco, so you head
outside to eat. You order the Panini, one friend orders a Caesar salad with a
nice vinaigrette; another orders a carne asada burrito with extra chipotle;
another orders a plate of spaghetti with bolognaise, or maybe it was polonaise; and the
last person in your group orders a spinach salad with extra feta. The waiter then
tells you about the soup du jour, which is a nice Borscht. But the bus boy is a
klutz, and drops your Panini. That schmuck! It’s the last one, so you go with the chicken
a la king instead.
I'm sorry, but are all of those words actually English?
I work in the legal field. Go pull up some case law and
notice how many Latin words are used. For that matter, go to your local
hospital. Do you really think terms like placebo or autopsy are English words? Agriculture, which has always been the number one industry in the United States, is from a Latin word, and the origins of its development were in the Middle East and Asia. The automobile was invented in Europe. The fireworks we use to celebrate Independence Day are Chinese in origin. Even the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France. Most of our Christmas traditions come from somewhere else; trees, wreaths and ribbons from Roman Pagans, and Santa Clause and gift giving from Europe.
Spaghetti came from China via Italy, Pizza came from Italy,
We all love Mexican and Chinese food, and you would be hard pressed to find a
community that didn’t have at least an Italian and a Chinese restaurant in the center of the town. But it’s
not just about food; we drive on the right side of the road because we wanted
to differentiate ourselves from the British, who drive on the left because most
knights were right handed. (No shit.) Bill O’Reilly wasn’t having phone sex
with a woman using a hot dog, folks; he used a falafel. Okay, he probably meant
loofah. But still, look it up; it’s not an English-origin word.
In fact, of the 400,000 words in the English language, very
few originated in the United States. For that matter, not all that many came
courtesy of England. Many common
nautical terms, like the word nautical, come from Portuguese and French, as
well as English. Even many words we think of as “all-American” were absorbed
from other languages. Ever think about the old American stand-by "Ketchup"?
That’s not an English word or an American product. Ketchup itself comes from
China, and the word is Malaysian for "fish brine." In fact, almost
all English came from somewhere else. What we refer to as “Old English” was
actually largely a combination of Norse and Latin.
Now, here’s how the author ends his little tome:
The story of
the Great Melting Pot always caused me to think of arriving in America as
immigrants is like arriving at one of those outdoor parties in college. In the
center of the space was a large container (we’ll call it a ‘punch bowl’ to be
polite). Each guest would arrive with a bottle of liquor of their choosing. One
by one, each would pour their bottle into the ‘punch bowl.’ Adding a few cans
of fruit punch and ginger ale made the whole thing palatable. Voila! We had
blended what each brought together into something we could all enjoy. That my
friends, is the graphic example of America.
Americans, I am here to tell you: America does not come in flavors. It is not
multi-cultural. We are of diverse backgrounds and remain a rainbow of skin
colors. But, we are one people, one culture, and one nation UNDER GOD. And
frankly, in my humble opinion, if you find that concept disagreeable: Canada is
to the north; Mexico is south. Pick one. There is no lock on the door marked, EXIT.
I swear, there
is something about the whole “America – love it or leave it” crowd that gets my
blood boiling. I’ll get to that in a second.
Let’s start with his metaphor about the punch bowl. I
remember when I was in college (the first, less-successful time), and we did what
he describes. It was called “ Screaming Purple Jesus Punch” and we started by filling half a cooler with grape Kool-Aid. Then, people would bring their favorite
liquor and we would pour it into the Kool Aid.
Now, here’s where his little metaphor falls apart. What college
student in his right mind would drink just the Kool –Aid? (okay, a lot of right wingers seem to, but I digress) If all we had was a cooler
full of grape Kool-Aid, no one would have stayed for the party, even though we
had a decent live band. The addition of the various types of liquor made it BETTER. Each bottle
we added made it taste different and more interesting. (Or so they told me; I
really didn’t drink much, even then.)
It’s the same with the United States of America. We are a
BETTER country because we allow people from different countries to come here
and bring their A-game. We once had the
greatest scientific minds in the world here; did no one really notice how many
of the greatest minds on our space program had thick German accents? Has anyone noticed how many of the best
medical minds in this country are of Asian and Middle Eastern origin?
There are more than 300,000 religious groups in the United
States and about 12% of them are non-Christian. That would suggest some serious
diversity. Hell; the largest single denomination
in the country, the Roman Catholic Church, didn’t ditch Latin until I was in
See the problem with this line of thinking is that the
author of the article doesn’t understand the concept of “assimilation.” Yes, we
can all agree that one language (English) should be a goal in the end. But that
has always taken a generation to accomplish; no one learns English in a
matter of months; it takes years and a lot of money. And can we be blunt here?
An awful lot of people who were born here are practically don’t seem to have
mush mastery of English themselves, and when it comes to civics, we’re abject
failures, as a country. On a historical
note, might I remind folks that the literacy rate in this country didn’t even
go above 50% until after World War II, so this concept that everyone must speak, read and write English is a fairly new concept.
We ARE multi-cultural, period. It's not something that's
deniable. ALL cultures are multicultural. All cultures take some of what they
like from other cultures and absorb it into their own. (In fact, do I have to make the obvious note that we're not in England?). We didn’t know anything about corn (maize) until
the real natives of this continent showed us. Now, we can’t seem to live
without it. I don't see this guy dumping his Irish name in favor of a more
"American" name like "Smith" or "Jones." Wait;
those aren’t American names, either.
I was assisting an Iraqi family with an asylum application several
years ago, and they were the sweetest people you could imagine. They wore
traditional Muslim dress, and they insisted that I eat a full meal every time I
came into their home; it would have been an insult for me to refuse. Yet, their so9n played video games just like
my son, they tried to get him into a good school, and they wanted him to have a
great life in America, just like we all want for our kids. But they kept many
of their traditions, as well, and we found each other charming.
One of the great things about living in a free country is
that we can all work toward the same goal from different angles, and none of us
has to give up who we are as individuals. This notion that we can have free speech
in this country AND tell everyone what language they have to speak at all times should be offensive to
anyone who values what it means to be an American. As long as their expression
of culture doesn't result in someone else's rights being infringed, who cares?
Multiculturalism is a fact of life. We all should have the
right to say what we want; to worship as
we want; to not worship if that’s how we feel; to wear whatever clothing we
feel comfortable in; to love whomever we choose; to feel joy at whatever gives
us joy; and to hold onto our heritage, whatever that may be. (And no, the
confederate flag is not “heritage.”) We are all richer in a multi-cultural
(By the way, besides ice cream, there is frozen yogurt,
gelato and sherbet, as well. So his ice cream metaphor doesn’t work, either. )
I’m sorry, but anyone who holds to the belief that anyone who
doesn’t give up their heritage and assimilate 100% into what they perceive as
our “culture” are the ones who should think about leaving.
But that’s just my opinion…